Hirsch & Cohen
105 Madison Ave., SE corner of 30th St.(2007)

Across the top white stripe one can make out Hirsch & Cohen.

Charles Joseph Hirsch (1878-?) and Max Cohen (1874-1941) seem to have been partners approximately 1904 to 1915, but they were located here no more than two years, 1914 to 1915. They started on Wooster St., became Hirsch & Cohen gowns on Spring St. in 1904/5, then Hirsch & Cohen costumes at 37 W. 26th St. from 1910 to 1914 before moving to 105 Madison Ave.

Charles J. Hirsch began as a waist manufacturer on Wooster St. around 1900, and soon entered into his partnership with Max Cohen. Hirsch appears in the 1900 U. S. Census, living with his widowed mother, Amalia Hirsch, at 115 W. 90th St. Manhattan. His occupation is "Mfgr" (manufacturer). By the time he registered for the World War I draft Hirsch & Cohen had dissolved, and he was living with his wife, Ray, in Lawrence, Nassau County, NY. He gives his occupation as "Salesman Leo Finkenberg 135 West 29th New York City." Leo Finkenberg Inc. were cloaks manufacturers. Hirsch also had his own company, Charles J. Hirsch & Co. from around 1915 until the early 1920s.

Max Cohen registered for the World War I draft in 1918, when his occupation was "Manufacturer Costumes, 105 Madison Ave. N.Y. City." He was 43 years old and was born Sep. 15, 1874. After the dissolution of his partnership with Charles J. Hirsch, Max stayed on at 105 Madison Ave. with his own business, Max Cohen Inc. His obituary (New York Times, 14 June 1941, p. 17) cites him as "a founder and large stockholder of the Garment Center Capital Corporation and well known in the garment industry under the firm name Max Cohen, Inc. ... He was born in Russia sixty-five years ago. Mr. Cohen retired in 1933 and had been living in Miami Beach, Fla." Cohen died at the Hotel Dorset on W. 54th St. For many years the Hotel Dorset sign (click for image) overlooked the sculpture garden at the Museum of Modern Art.

Another of Max Cohen's partners was his wife, Bessie Kessler Cohen (1879-1964). She is listed as vice president of Hirsch & Cohen in 1913-14, and then as president of Max Cohen Inc. 1915 to 1920/21. She appears as Bessie Kessler in the U. S. Census of 1900, living with her mother and brother, before her marriage to Max Cohen. Her occupation is "Designer Tea Gowns." Bessie Kessler immigrated from Russia (in the 1930 census this is specified as Latvia) in 1887. An interesting element among passenger lists of ships returning to New York from Europe is a listing for Bessie Cohen sailing from Cherbourg on the SS George Washington 17 Nov. 1912. Immediately above Bessie on the list is Charles Hirsch! Max, presumably, was home in New York taking care of the business. Some time after Max Cohen's death, Bessie Cohen changed her name to Bessie Coleman. Her death notice appeared in the New York Times, 16 August 1964, under the name Coleman - Bessie K. (My sincere thanks to Larry Margolin who helped me with this information.)

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